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Crews finish sliding new Larpenteur Avenue Bridge into place

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After unexpected delays that extended the operation by a day, Minnesota Department of Transportation crews finished sliding the new Larpenteur Avenue Bridge over I-35E into place early Friday, FOX 9 reports.

The 3.5 million-pound bridge deck (and its beams) were pushed into place with hydraulic jacks using a new "slide-in" technique. The structure was originally planned to be in place by early Thursday morning, but construction crews hit a snag about halfway through the process.

KSTP says the delay was caused by metal bending in places it wasn't supposed to.

The Star Tribune says crews completed the job about 2 a.m. Friday. State bridge engineer Nancy Daubenberger told the newspaper the remainder of the project went well "after adjustments were made to the location of the guide plates on the slide tables."

See a time-lapse video of the Larpenteur Avenue Bridge operation below.

States like Oregon, Utah, Missouri, Michigan, Colorado and Massachusetts have previously employed the slide-in technique, but the Larpenteur Bridge project marks the first time the method's been used in Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports. The bridge was reportedly constructed about four feet from where the previous structure existed.

MnDOT says the big plus for using the technique comes with the amount of time – and money – saved on construction.

“Doing this bridge under conventional methods, the closure would be about 110 days,” project manager Dave Herzog told KSTP. “With the method we’re using here, we’re going to get it completed and open in about 47 days.”

Herzog says the bridge will open again in about three weeks, after additional work is completed.

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